5 Snacks to Skip or Substitute at the Disneyland Resort

Snacks are a big part of the fun at the Disney Parks, but not all snacks are created equal!

I’ve featured the 5 frozen desserts I HIGHLY recommend, as well as 5 savory snacks that I hold in equal epicurean esteem.

But with so many choices of things to eat at the Parks, not all of them can be major winners, right?

So, in this week dedicated to celebrating food (and music – more of which I will return to tomorrow!), I’ve decided to take a brief look at a couple of items I’d say to pass on in favor of something better!

In most cases, it’s because they were “just okay” and there are so many other yummier choices. But in one case, I had a really bad experience and I wouldn’t go near it again!

As always, these are based on my personal experiences and reactions and don’t represent anyone else’s views but my own.

  1. Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream – Chocolate Chip Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae in a Souvenir Mickey Pants Sink
Two scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies.

Two scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies.

This was the first dessert that I tried at Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure and maybe I should have given up at this point. Starting a theme here – the ice cream was just okay and the cookies were hard and rather dry (and I prefer soft and chewy). I just wasn’t impressed with this one. There are better cookie sundae options in the parks.

(But I still like the sink which you get to keep. Although it’s currently just sitting in a cupboard.)

  • Recommend instead: Cookie Bits Sundae at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure. The cookies and ice cream are both better – plus it comes with Ghirardelli chocolates on it and three scoops of ice cream vs. two at Clarabelle’s. No souvenir container though.
Ghirardelli Cookie Bits Sundae with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, cookie crumbles and Ghirardelli chocolate pieces.

Ghirardelli Cookie Bits Sundae with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, cookie crumbles and Ghirardelli chocolate pieces.

  1. Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream – Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
Chocolate ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies dipped in sprinkles.

Chocolate ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies dipped in sprinkles.

Mousertainment Tip: This one is not always listed on the menu, but you can ask for it at the counter. I’d heard about it and wanted to try it, so I just asked the Cast Member if I could order it and it was no problem.

The cookies were smaller than I expected – medium sized rather than large. And the ice cream squished out the sides no matter how delicately I tried to eat it. The cookies weren’t bad and the ice cream wasn’t bad, but it was a mess to try to eat. There are better options in the parks if you want a chocolate chip cookie and ice cream.

  1. Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream – Hand-dipped Ice Cream Bar
Vanilla ice cream dipped in milk chocolate with chocolate chips on top.

Vanilla ice cream dipped in milk chocolate with chocolate chips on top.

As with the experiences above, it was something cold to eat on a hot day, but that’s about all I can say for it. It was just okay although it was fun to customize it with choices of ice cream and toppings. But there are better ice cream bar options in the parks.

  • Recommend instead: A delicious Mickey Premium Bar available in the Disney Parks pretty much everywhere!
  1. Paradise Pier Ice Cream – Soft Serve Ice Cream
A cup of soft serve chocolate ice cream.

A cup of soft serve chocolate ice cream.

I was on the Pier in Disney California Adventure and it was hot and I wanted something cold and wasn’t walking any further. And with so many people carrying around these soft serve ice cream cups and cones, it looked tempting. I ordered the chocolate, but again, while it was cold, there really wasn’t much chocolate flavor to it – I found it very bland. There are better ice cream options in the parks.

  • Recommend instead: Ice cream at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure. Just go over there and get a scoop. Or two. Cold and refreshing and very tasty with plenty of flavor choices.
  1. Buena Vista Street Popcorn Cart (near Elias & Co. exit) – Caramel Corn

And this was the one I had a bad experience with.

I’d never gotten food poisoning or had a bad reaction from any item I’ve eaten at a Disney Park. Until I ate this caramel corn.

I can’t tell you what it was – whether it was a problem with the oil, the caramel or the corn itself, but this stuff made me sicker than I’ve ever been from eating anything in my entire life.

I’m not going to get into the graphic details, but I’ve never experienced a food reaction like this ever and I hope never to do so again. Fortunately, once it was out of my stomach, I was fine.

I have no issue with any kind of popcorn or caramel or caramel corn. But whatever was in the mix there that day was NOT GOOD. And yes, I reported it to the Guest Relations team at the Chamber of Commerce who basically told me it couldn’t possibly have been their food that caused a problem and to have a magical day. Yeah.

So all I can say is, I personally wouldn’t go near that popcorn cart or the caramel corn in the park again for anything. But that’s just me!

  • Recommend instead: Cozy Cone flavored Popcone! I’ve eaten the popcorn here over and over and over and it’s been terrific every time!

So those are my “skip ‘em” suggestions and recommended replacements!

Are there any snacks or desserts at the Disney Parks that you felt weren’t worthy of a repeat try? Or are there some on my list above that you’re a big fan of and think deserve a second chance (except for the caramel corn, sorry, no!)?

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